Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes neurological symptoms, including loss of vision, numbness, and weakness. The disease strips the myelin sheath around your nerve cells, which causes those and other symptoms. There is a lot of misinformation about multiple sclerosis, including these five myths.
Myth #1: Multiple Sclerosis Only Affects Young, White Women
False. Most ethnicities can get multiple sclerosis, not just young, white women. However, people who are descended from Northern Europe have a higher risk for multiple sclerosis. MS is also three times more common in women than in men.
Myth #2: Multiple Sclerosis Does Not Affect African Americans
False. Black Americans can get multiple sclerosis, though black women are more at risk for getting multiple sclerosis than black men.
Myth #3: It is Harder for People with Multiple Sclerosis to Get Pregnant
False. Back in the day, researchers thought fertility was affected by multiple sclerosis, but newer research has found that people with MS can get pregnant and have unplanned pregnancies. If you plan on having a baby, talk to your doctor, as the medications you may be on may not approved for use if you are pregnant.
Myth #4: If You Have Multiple Sclerosis, Your Children Will Have It
False. While you don’t pass multiple sclerosis onto your children just because you have it, your children are at a higher risk of getting MS. While it can be genetic, age, sex, vitamin D deficiency, and Epstein-Barr virus exposure increases the risk of MS.
Myth #5: Multiple Sclerosis is Not Affected by Pregnancy and Menopause
False. Pregnancy seems to protect MS patients from flare-ups, especially after the first trimester. Researchers are not sure why but believe it’s due to changes in your immune system caused by hormones. This usually lasts up to three months after the birth of the child. After menopause, multiple sclerosis can become more progressive.
Where to Find Care for Multiple Sclerosis in Show Low, AZ
Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center serves Show Low and the surrounding areas in Arizona. To find out more about multiple sclerosis, speak with a doctor at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center. To arrange a consultation, please call 928-537-4375.